Published On: Mon, Dec 28th, 2015



By Ajaz Rashid


The main character of the movie is based on J&K Bank Calendars and explores the developmental part of Kashmir

Inspired by J&K Bank calendars Bollywood actor cum producer, Imran Khan, decided to make a feature film on Kashmir with the title SARGOSHIYAN. Unlike the recent big budget movies like Haider and Bajrangi Bhaijan in which they have highlighted the violence part of Kashmir, Sargoshiyan is coming with a developmental story in it. This movie will be a first movie in recent times which would explore the beauty, loving people and peace of Kashmir. Imran Khan, who is himself playing a key role in the film shared his experience with Ajaz Rashid.

Tell us briefly about Sargoshiyan?

Sargoshiyan is basically a loaded with humanity – human kind of emotion. In this movie we have tried to show positive face of Kashmir and Kashmiris. The ways these people care each other and have a caring heart for outsiders whether they are tourists, pilgrims or common visitors is simply heartening.

Bollywood actor Imran Khan

Bollywood actor Imran Khan

The story of Sargoshiyan started from Kashmir after I went through its beautiful and unexplored Kashmir. I must say that world has seen just a part of it and there is still a major part of its beauty which is still virgin.

Besides my personal visit the main thing which attracted my mind to make a movie on Kashmir was the uniqueness of J&K Bank calendars. From years together I used to see different and extraordinary things in these calendars. Even I can say that the main character of the movie is based on J&K Bank Calendars.

Q: Why did you choose such type of non-violence movie?

A person usually chooses the thing what he/she sees and feels. First time I landed in Kashmir was in 2007 and the scenario at that time was totally in contrast to the prevailing situation. The first thing which I saw was lot of forces, barricades and bunkers which were really eye soring for me. But apart from that thing I fall in love with the beauty of Kashmir, loving and hospitable people.  Our characters in this movie are not fictitious, Infact we got inspired by real stories. I want to show that besides some violent episodes, we have a beautiful Kashmir with beautiful people. No doubt some media organisations are doing propaganda by giving hype to violence but leave them aside and we should ignore them at all.

Q: You use to come here since long. What is the image you had developed before visiting this place for the first time?

I don’t believe in everything what comes on news channels. They have their vested interest in propagating such kind of stuff. You have to use your common sense as well. Like other outsiders I too had a scary image for Kashmir but that broke soon after my first visit to this place. That is what I have tried to show in Sargoshiyan. I was never anti Kashmir but the people in our community many a times discouraged me because they feel so scary to come to this place. But Sargoshiyan will really change their view about Kashmir. The people living outside should understand that small untoward incidents take place everywhere like in Maharashtra, Delhi etc then why only Kashmir is being highlighted.

Q: Have you involved local artists in your movie?

Of course, we have involved local artists in our movie and they have worked hard. We appreciate their work. In other words I can say that through this movie we are actually incorporating local Kashmir talent in Bollywood. We have hired local makeup man, units, light man etc.

Q: As you have involved local artists in Sargoshiyan, how different are these artists in terms of professional exposure than Bollywood?

It is true that the artists here need to work hard. But simultaneously I realized that it is not their fault because they lack in professional exposure. We have worked in so many Indian states but the working exposure what we find in Mumbai is incompatible. The people in Mumbai are workaholics who are ready to work at any time in all conditions. That kind of culture is missing in Kashmir.

Q: Have you ever met with any Kashmiri struggler struggling for Bollywood?

Yes on and off we do meet with lot of strugglers especially I have met with various Kashmiri artists/actors who want to work in Bollywood. I would say that the boys and girls in Kashmir are good looking so I tell them to work hard, join theater and local TV to polish their skills. And after that if they are prepared and confident enough then they should come to Mumbai to try for Bollywood.

Q: What is your take on recent incidents of intolerance in India as many actors, artists etc have returned their prestigious awards as a mark of protest?

Honestly speaking, I tried to keep away from politics. I feel some personalities; actors who may want to jump into politics after their present profession are doing this kind of activity. These people for their vested interest are doing this. We all know that politics,and power have its own taste. They may have the aspiration to taste the power of politics and that is why they get involved in these controversies. India is a democratic country and everybody has right to express their own views in democracy. So if somebody like Amir Khan and Shahrukh Khan have expressed their views, what is wrong in that. Infact I am with them.

Q: Was it easy to shoot in the conflict place like Kashmir?

Frankly speaking, I have been fortunate enough by finishing first phase of shooting  Sargoshiyan in Kashmir hassle free. Whether it is a local Kashmiri, concerned department or state government, everybody supported and helped me in concluding this phase successfully. Even Chief Minister of this state is on its toes to promote tourism in Kashmir and Bollywood can be a big reason for tourist arrival. Most of all the J&K Bank has helped us especially Chairman J&K Bank provided us every possible support for the shooting of Sargoshiyan.

Q: If you will be given a power to change anything in Kashmir, what would be that?

I think I would try to create employment avenues for the people of Kashmir. I would want to establish a full-fledged film shooting industry here. Non-availability of filming equipments is prominent here. Besides, Kashmir has abundance of natural resources and the only thing required is to establish more and more industries so that majority of the people can get better employment.



Sargoshiyan has two main protagonists among which one is a Kashmiri Pandit and another one is a professional photographer from Mumbai and both are in their thirties. Their story starts with their hectic and frustrated urban life in Mumbai. Their life is full of stress, disturbances with their working schedule, emotional problems. They finally get relieved after going through a simple way of living style in Kashmir. The reason of their coming to Kashmir starts when one of the protagonists gets an assignment of capturing unique pictures of Kashmir for J&K Bank Calendar. The assignment compels them to visit to different and far-flung areas of Kashmir during which they go through different locations and the people of these places.



About the Author

Ajaz Rashid

- Ajaz Rashid is a renowned journalist writing on Politics, conflict, Business, Society, Health etc in Jammu and Kashmir over the last 10 years.

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